Recommended Books on Social Anxiety

We're All Mad Here: The No-Nonsense Guide to Living with Social Anxiety (Non-fiction) by Claire Eastham and Natasha Devon 

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Award-winning blogger Claire Eastham, brings this wonderfully warm, funny and inviting book on managing social anxiety – churning through specific situations from attending university, navigating the work place, calming those nerves on first dates and gliding through parties with confidence.  She discusses conventional and non-conventional therapies to manage anxiety including her own particular experience with anxiety and what helped her.  


How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety (Non-fiction) by Ellen Hendriksen 


Did you know that 40% of the population describe themselves as shy, introverted or socially awkward? If you’re susceptible to social anxiety, then this book provides a solid understanding of the disorder through the use of science, the stories of people who’ve struggled with social anxiety and proven techniques to overcome their social anxiety. 

The author, Dr. Ellen Hendriksen, herself struggles with social anxiety, and discusses the origins of social anxiety and why it persists. Her writing reflects hope and she convinces her readers that our brain can be rewired, by changing our behaviour to quiet that inner critic that often is the culprit of the social anxiety. To this extent, she offers techniques to develop confidence and overcome the deep-rooted feelings of anxiety so that you bring your true, authentic self to any situation. 

The Solution to Social Anxiety: Break Free from The Shyness That Holds You Back (Non-fiction) by Aziz Gazipura 


This book by Dr Aziz is particularly helpful in breaking free from anxiety as he focuses on 3 key principles:  

  1. Understand why you are experiencing social anxiety, through gaining self-awareness of your life beliefs and fears and how to prevent these from taking over. It’s about letting go of the need to please everyone else and allow your own needs to be met by setting appropriate boundaries. 
  2. Accept yourself entirely. Often social anxiety is rooted in self-rejection, perhaps as a result of having been rejected by others in the past. Accepting ourselves for who we are, and honouring our own needs and desires is the first step to self-acceptance and allowing ourselves to be, bringing more peace and joy in everyday life. 
  3. Take the necessary action. Action precedes behaviour change and shifts in anxiety. In order to truly break free from social anxiety, shyness and self-doubt, you have to move towards your fears, doing the things that do scare you – this actually helps to process and overcome the fear and transform that fear into confidence and success. 


Notes on a Nervous Planet (Therapeutic Non-fiction) by Matt Haig 


This is a beautiful therapeutic book on finding a sense of calm and peace in a world that doesn’t stop bubbling stress and anxiety, where people are consistently nervous, disconnected and very alone. Haig questions, how can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad? How do we stay human in a technological world? How do we feel happy when we are encouraged to be anxious? 

Haig himself has experienced years of anxiety and panic attacks, urging him to look at the big questions more closely, so that he can better understand his feelings and interior life as well as the external stressors around him.  

Notes on a Nervous Planet is a brilliant look at how to process emotions and find peace in a distressed, anxious world where we are faced with existential angst every day. 


Looking for something more specific? Get something more tailored with our personalised book prescriptions within 48 hours. You might also find it helpful to explore these feelings in a bibliotherapy session or learn some bibliotherapy techniques to help you process these feelings by completing our online Bibliotherapy, Literature and Mental Health course or our book Bibliotherapy: The Healing Power of Reading.

A big hello and thank you for reading! Passionate about literature, psychology, and life I launched Book Therapy as an alternative form of therapy using the power of literature. I train mental health professionals, librarians, teachers as well as readers on using bibliotherapy in their own work through our online Bibliotherapy, Literature and Mental Health course. We also curate reading lists/personalised book prescriptions for clients based on their individual needs. This is our signature personalised reading service.

You can also check out Book Therapy’s other free reading lists and A- Z of book prescriptions (covering both fiction and non-fiction). These suggest books based on your existing life situation (e.g. anxiety, job change, relationship heartache) as well as interests (e.g memoir, historical fiction, non-fiction, crime etc). There’s also a Children’s A — Z of Book Prescriptions. Feel free to check out the blog for more literary gems. There’s also a post on my personal story of how I entered the world of bibliotherapy and book curation.

In this role, I have had the opportunity to publish two books called Bibliotherapy: The Healing Power of Reading and The Happiness Mindset, and write various literary essays and pieces for newspapers and magazines. I have undertaken bibliotherapy workshops for The United Nations, various libraries in New York and corporate organisations in the UK and US. My book recommendations have featured in the Guardian, Marie Claire, NBC News, Asian Voice, New York Observer, Sydney Telegraph and various other publications. If you are a parent you might enjoy a podcast I’ve recorded with speech and language therapist Sunita Shah on Raising A Reader & Storyteller. And if you’d like to connect, email me at or

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